When companies get bought

Just in my inbox is an email from DeployHQ – my favoured deployment tool since as long as I can remember – telling me that they’ve been bought by DeployBot.

My first reaction whenever this sort of transaction happens (a couple off the top of my head: GoDaddy buying ManageWP, WPEngine buying ACF, Atlassian buying Trello) – I don’t think “woo, superb, access to a whole bigger company who will support that product I use”. Instead I think “oh, ffs, I liked the small size, a vague sense of people caring / some kind of intimacy in support…”.

I know that it’s almost inevitable that there is An Exit – and I guess if it were me, and I owned a company that had built to a certain size, had a bigger partner sniffing around who then offered me (presumably) a nice sum to acquire the business – I’d do the same.

Still: from out here it feels a bit …meh.

I guess the two sources of meh-ness are support and pricing. I would imagine (hope) that there would be pressure on pricing to remain the same – in fact one would hope that an acquisition would apply downward pressure on pricing – after all, if all the things that are being sold to me as a customer (having a bigger company support the product, scale of infra etc) – are true, then one might hope that pricing would follow a downward trajectory…

But – support. It’s superb right now, and I think there is inherent fear that it’s gonna get crap.

I don’t know what a company could do to help provide reassurance to customers – but I do know that support is often the first thing to go. Bots, low paid and not very knowledgeable staff, automated documentation searches – and not a real human – these are too often rolled out to save money, and they lead to an all round shitter experience.

Let’s see what happens here…